Guest Post by Author Marya Hornbacher + Giveaway!

love2eatinpa, 17 June 2010, 20 comments
Categories: Giveaways, Helpful Books, recovery
Tags: , , ,

This is a cross post on WATRD.

I was lucky enough to get the amazing author of “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia”, which I wrote about HERE and HERE to write a guest blog for me. Marya has recovered after over 15 years of battling both anorexia and bullimia.

She also published “The Center of Winter,” and her newest book, “Madness: A Bipolar Lifes” which I look forwarding to reading ASAP.

I hope you find this post about recovery to be as inspirational as I did.

I don’t remember when I stopped noticing—stopped noticing every mirror, every window, every scale, every fast-food restaurant, every diet ad, every horrifying model. And I don’t remember when I stopped counting, or when I stopped caring what size my pants were, or when I started ordering what I wanted to eat and not what seemed “safe,” or when I could sit comfortably reading a book in my kitchen without noticing I was in my kitchen until I got hungry—or when I started just eating when I got hungry, instead of questioning it, obsessing about it, dithering and freaking out, as I’d done for nearly my whole life.

I don’t remember exactly when recovery took hold, and went from being something I both fought and wanted, to being simply a way of life. A way of life that is, let me tell you, infinitely more peaceful, infinitely happier, and infinitely more free than life with an eating disorder. And I wouldn’t give up this life of freedom for the world.

What I know is this: I chose recovery. It was a conscious decision, and not an easy one. That’s the common denominator among people I know who have recovered: they chose recovery, and they worked like hell for it, and they didn’t give up. Recovery isn’t easy, at first. It takes time. It takes more work, sometimes, than you think you’re willing to do. But it is worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment. It’s worth it, because the trade-off is this: you let go of your eating disorder, and you get back your life.

There are a couple of things I had to keep in mind in early recovery. One was that I was going to recover, even though I didn’t feel “ready.” I realized I was never going to feel ready—I was just going to jump in and do it, ready or not, and I am deeply glad that I did. Another was that symptoms were not an option. Symptoms, as critically necessary and automatic as they feel, are ultimately a choice. You can choose to let the fallacy that you must use symptoms kill you, or you can choose not to use symptoms. Easier said than done? Of course. But it can be done.

I had to keep at the forefront of my mind the reasons I wanted to recover so badly, and the biggest one was this: I couldn’t believe in what I was doing anymore. I couldn’t justify committing my life to self-destruction, to appearance, to size, to weight, to food, to obsession, to self-harm. And that was what I had been doing for so long—dedicating all my strength, passion, energy, and intelligence to the pursuit of a warped and vanishing ideal. I just couldn’t believe in it anymore. As scared as I was to recover, to recover fully, to let go of every last symptom, to rid myself of the familiar and comforting compulsions, I wanted to know who I was without the demon of my eating disorder inhabiting my body and mind.

And it turned out that I was all right. It turned out it was all right with me to be human, to have hungers, to have needs, to take space. It turned out that I had a self, a voice, a whole range of values and beliefs and passions and goals beyond what I had allowed myself to see when I was sick. There was a person in there, under the thick ice of the illness, a person I found I could respect.

Recovery takes time, patience, enormous effort, and strength. We all have those things. It’s a matter of choosing to use them to save our own lives—to survive—but beyond that, to thrive. If you are still teetering on the brink of illness, I invite you to step firmly onto the solid ground of health. Walk back toward the world. Gather strength as you go. Listen to your own inner voice, not the voice of the eating disorder—as you recover, your voice will get clearer and louder, and eventually the voice of the eating disorder will recede. Give it time. Don’t give up. Love yourself absolutely. Take back your life.

The value of freedom cannot be overestimated. It’s there for the taking. Find your way toward it, and set yourself free.

Marya has been kind enough to giveaway three of her “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia” books! 

To enter, please leave a comment, letting me know why you would like to read the book. I will draw three random commenters on 6/23 and announce the winner on 6/24.

Please feel free to share your recovery story as well!

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

20 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. amanda
    17 June 2010, 5:51 pm

    This is me….I want to recover so badly but I haven’t taken the final plunge. I know that I do not want to be the way I have become over the years. I like how she says that you need to just take the final plunge into recovery and work hard to get what you want to achieve.
    amanda´s last blog post ..Busy Busy Busy

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i know exactly where you are coming from, amanda. it is hard work, but very worth it.

    [Reply]

  2. Alicia
    18 June 2010, 9:35 am

    What a great post. I would love to read the book just based on what is in this piece. I’m crossing my fingers 🙂 Thanks again for all the inspiration!
    Alicia´s last blog post ..10 Simple Ways to De-Stress This Summer

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    marya has been through hell and back. she’s really inspirational (and a very nice person too!).

    [Reply]

  3. Sarah
    18 June 2010, 12:18 pm

    I loved both Wasted and Madness, and I think this post is amazing. It speaks to where I am right now. I want to want to chose recovery, if that makes any sense. I had such a good stretch of not using symptoms but now I feel right back in the thick of it. I like what she says here — “There are a couple of things I had to keep in mind in early recovery. One was that I was going to recover, even though I didn’t feel “ready.” I realized I was never going to feel ready—I was just going to jump in and do it, ready or not, and I am deeply glad that I did. Another was that symptoms were not an option. Symptoms, as critically necessary and automatic as they feel, are ultimately a choice. You can choose to let the fallacy that you must use symptoms kill you, or you can choose not to use symptoms. Easier said than done? Of course. But it can be done.” that is where I need to go.

    Thanks for getting this guest post. It’s amazing and full of hope, which is just what I need today.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m so glad that it spoke to you when you needed it, sarah. it is full of hope, and we all need that.

    [Reply]

  4. Jody - Fit at 52
    18 June 2010, 4:41 pm

    Each one of these stories is so inspirational.. whenever I read them! Life is a battle at times… yes it is!

    I am letting myself out of the contest as I know others need this book more but wanted to comment!
    Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog post ..Salsa Recipe

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yup, life can be a battle at times, a true journey.

    [Reply]

  5. Amanda
    19 June 2010, 6:18 pm

    I just found your blog today and although I identify as someone who binge eats, I really haven’t educated myself about eating disorders. I’m interested in learning more!
    Amanda´s last blog post ..The Binge II (Thinking Dialectically)

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    welcome, amanda! i think that knowledge is power, the more the learn, the better you will be able to kick the bingeing to the curb. =)

    [Reply]

  6. Michelle@Eatingjourney
    21 June 2010, 2:24 pm

    I totally know what she means when she says that she didn’t know when it exactly all switched. It’s weird and funny how life does that. All this anxiety to be a different person and then it may just kinda start happening. I think it’s great that people are able to share their stories, because although I have not suffered from an eating disorder, officially, I get the idea of have an abusive relationship with food. Hearing people’s stories is so important.
    Michelle@Eatingjourney´s last blog post ..Live.Laugh.Grow

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i hear you, michelle. i think that sometimes our minds just become open to things at certain times in our lives. everything for a reason, right?

    [Reply]

  7. Holly
    21 June 2010, 4:20 pm

    Wow….what a wonderful book – and a great giveaway! It is always encouraging to hear of people who have overcome their eating disorders. I really feel like I keep those people in mind, those who have TRULY overcome their EDs, and it gives me hope to know that this can stop one day. I especially loved what she said about choosing to stop – I firmly believe this is true. I think that’s true in any “addiction” – you have to make the choice. I know it’s easier said than done, but I think making that firm decision is a great place to start. 🙂
    Holly´s last blog post ..This Isn’t the Real Caeser’s Palace….Is It?

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yes, you really do have to choose to want the ED to stop. i thought her post was very hopeful.

    [Reply]

  8. Sagan
    21 June 2010, 8:45 pm

    This book sounds wonderful, and what a powerful post! As someone who is having a challenging time making a full recovery from disordered eating, I think I could definitely benefit from reading a book about another person’s journey- just like I’ve benefited from reading your blog 🙂
    Sagan´s last blog post ..What I Learned from University

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    the book was really powerful and gave an amazingly honestly, insightful view into the mind of someone who had both anorexia and bullimia. this post is not an excerpt from the book. it will give you an amazing appreciation of how far she has come and that if she can overcome her ED’s, so can all of us.
    and thanks for your kind words, sagan. =)

    [Reply]

  9. DebbieH
    23 June 2010, 2:00 pm

    This was a great post and I would love to read that book. It is so inspirational to hear about people who have recovered from this terrible disease.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for stopping by, debbie! i agree 100%!

    [Reply]

  10. Marya hornbacher | LightCop
    03 July 2010, 1:20 pm

    […] Guest Post by Author Marya Hornbacher + Giveaway! […]

  11. […] August 4 Hornbacher, excerpts from Wasted Hornbacher, guest blog post at: http://confessionsofacompulsiveeater.com/guest-post-by-author-marya-hornbacher-giveaway/ […]

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